Soldiers fighting overseas can become very attached to the canine warriors that fight alongside them. Kyle Smith and his partner, Bodza, had been spent 189 days together in Kyrgyzstan. The two were members of the United States Air Force and were on a security mission.
Bodza, an 11-year-old German shepherd, had been working with the Air Force since 2006 as an explosive detection dog. He had helped to save many lives in Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, and Iraq.
Bodza and Smith met in 2012 and formed a tight, lasting friendship.
When the two were not working, they made time for some fun! Smith recalled that Bodza was a gentle but goofy dog.
Bodza would often bark at his own shadow! When Bodza retired, Smith was more than happy to give him a forever home. Smith said that Bodza would follow him around everywhere.
Bodza was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy in the summer of 2016. Degenerative myelopathy is an incurable disease that affected his spinal cord.
Bodza lost control of his hind limbs and was soon unable to stand or walk. Smith had to make the heartbreaking decision to have Bodza put down.
Smith and nine co-workers took Bodza to the Fort Bliss Vet Clinic in El Paso, Texas. If any of you have had to put a pet down – you know what Smith was feeling.
The pain in that moment seems unbearable. Rest easy. You and your pet will be reunited at the Rainbow Bridge.
Rest in Peace, Bodza. Thank you for your service. Share away, people.